Radhanath Swami: I am very grateful for this opportunity to be with all of you this evening and I sincerely Thank you for taking your very precious time to be us. The subject I was ask to speak was Vedic Solutions to Climate Change. Recently, well it was actually couple of years ago I was in Udpi a very spiritually, holy place in South India. The place I was staying was on a dirt road which was quite away from the city or the town and every day I would look aside my window and see a little puppy dogs, there were two little puppy dogs and the mother was always trying to protect them because I had heard from the people in the house I was staying that two of her other puppies were run over by cars and killed right in front of her eyes and this were her two surviving children. So you can imagine how fearful, how attached and how protective she was after seeing two of her own children killed by cars. Now one of this little puppy dogs, very small just like a little ball of fur, was so energetic, he was just running and jumping and leaping and one day he decided he wanted to dig a hole that he could lay in. So he was working for hours and hours every day just digging on the side of the road, digging, digging (sound of digging) and the mother would come up and lick him and smell him and feed him and he was just digging (sound of digging) very attentive, intense, determined about three four days he was digging until the hole was about a foot deep and when he finally got that hole really nice, he went inside, crawled up and went to sleep and I walked by and I saw and he was, it was like he was in heaven. It was his own custom- made, personally tailored bed. One day it was about seven a clock in the morning I was walking, chanting God’s Names (Japa) along railway tracks and I was coming back and I turned onto this road and there was a car, the car was going down the road but somebody parked a motorbike right in the middle of the road. So the car turned off the road, it just went to the side and I saw the front tier sink and I heard (dog crying) and then the back tier I saw it was sink and there was only silence. It was the dog. Suddenly, I heard the most pieties heart cracking howl of his mother, I won’t try to imitate that howl, it was the howl of the totally distressed, broken heart and I saw her running and running and running and she came to that hole and I ran to the hole and the little puppy, blood was streaming out of his nostrils and out of his mouth and he was in so much pain, his little legs were flapping uncontrollably and the mother was looking at it, looking at him and I sat right next to him and the mother understood that I, Dogs are people too what to speak of cows, she understood that I cared. So I sat right in front of that little dog and loudly chanted the Holy Names, he was going to die and she stepped back and just watched as I was chanting. And the legs were flapping…flapping, then they both went up and slowly came down and he was dead. And as soon as he stopped breathing and it was very very pronounced that moment. I heard the mother; it was the most eerie, heart breaking sound you can imagine (sound of mother dog crying) and I looked over and tears were streaming from both sides of her eyes down her fur. And I stepped aside and she ran over and she was licking the dead body of her little child. Licking and licking and licking frantically as if she was trying to lick life back into him, but he was gone and for the next several hours she just kept licking the little body of her child and then his little brother came he just sat on the side of the hole, watching his mother licking and he started crying. That night, this happen in the morning, that night she would walk a few steps and come back and lick her little baby. She would walk 20 steps and come back. She would walk 30 steps and come back. Finally, I asked the neighbor because you know it wasn’t my property, I couldn’t do anything; I said could you burry this little puppy because the mother is not going to overcome this until it’s out of her sight. So the neighbor did that but then I saw the mother and her baby for the next two three days were just going and crying over that hole and smelling the hole. And people say that animals are not people. As GaurangaPrabhu explained, I did take care of cows for about 8 years and many times I would assist in giving birth of the calf and when that calf would die, how the mother would cry, how the mother would weep, and when the calf was alive how she would licked it and cared for it and gave it milk. These animals may not have the intellectual, philosophical capacity that we have but their will to live and their concern for each other, their feelings are very similar. A human mother wouldn’t suffer too much more than that dog mother at seeing a loss of her baby.
What it means to be learned
When the basic foundational principles of Vedic culture is the respect of life…para-dukha-dukhé…that another person’s suffering should be our suffering, another person’s happiness should be our happiness…vidyä-vinaya-sampannebrähmaëegavihastiniçunicaivaçva-päkecapaëòitäùsama-darçinaù…What does it means to be learned according to Bhagavad-Gita? Actually being learned from a Vedic perspective means that you see everyone with equal vision, whether one be a Brahman or whether one be working in the fields or whether one be elephant or cow or a dog one sees the soul, the atma, the part of God wherever there is life.
Difference between Selfless Compassion and Selfish Compassion:
We shouldn’t be that we are only compassionate towards those that are relevant to me. In the west, the person’s dog is really a part of the family. People would walk behind their dog with special plastic gloves and when the dog responds to the natures call which they like to do and they just do it in your front yard, you can call the police and have that person fine unless he personally picks up that warm, slushy in the winter smoking, excrement and he has to pick it up with that hand and a special bag, he puts it in and he is carrying in one hand he is carrying a bag with the dogs excrement and in the another hand he has his glove with which he takes it off and puts it in the bag and then it’s the nature of the dogs they like to do things in installments. I have observed like this. So it’s very meticulous, very possessive, if you kick their dog though be outraged but then they go home and eat cows and lambs and chickens and don’t think twice about it. They feel as much as their dog; they care for their children as much as that dog does. But because it’s not relevant to me it doesn’t matter if it suffers. Compassion comes to the higher level to the level it’s more and more inclusive of other living beings. Compassion only for those people that are very directly, involved with my life because of my attachment for them, its compassion but it’s atype of selfish compassion. To the degree our compassion is selfless it’s not about me it’s about that person, that’s real compassion. That is the Greatest need in the world today.
Meddling with the laws of God
Now back to that little puppy, his story is very much the story of humanity, he worked so hard with such determination and attention to dig a hole that he could enjoy, but the very hole became the cause of his suffering and death. You have heard this saying to dig your own grave. On that particular day that saying it echoed within my mind as a brutal reality. Yes, we work very hard but human intelligence is to look into the future and understand deeper and higher principles then just the temporary accomplishments we make and the pleasures that we derive from them that’s intelligence. Merry Shelley wrote a novel called Frankenstein, have you all heard of that? Frankenstein is a monster but that’s not really the purpose. Doctor Frankenstein he had very noble and good ideals, he wanted to create an ideal human being that could live extra ordinarily long and could help the world, but the problem he was meddling with the laws of nature although his intension may have been good to help but because he wasn’t really seeing the whole picture of how the world works. He wasn’t really seeing the way God works. And in his attempt to make something for the benefit of man, he created a monster that terrorized him and all the people in the area, He dug his own grave.
From the Vedic perspective this is very much what’s happening to the world today. Our Sciences, our technologies, our industries, even if there are good motivations unless we understand the laws of nature, the laws of God and take responsibilities for what we are doing, we can create monsters that become totally out of our control. You just saw some nice videos with statistics of what’s going on. I saw given pages and pages and pages of statistics about what’s happening to the water on the global level, what’s happening to the earth on the global level, what’s happening to the forest, what’s happening to the rivers and the air, that arisen cancer and arisen heart disease and arisen depression and stress and mental illness and they are all inter related. And what to do with all the global warming and all the toxic waste. Practically 80% of the rivers of India are so toxically polluted. The Yamuna and Ganga hundreds on time beyond what’s safer of human being to even touch. And that’s not being caused by the monkeys or the dears or the cows not even the snakes, it’s caused by us, the humans who are supposed to be so intelligent. Yes, we make progress, we make facilities to enjoy but cost and where is it going. Even the biggest brains in the world geologist and scientist, who are actually concerned it’s, just so out of control, don’t know what to do.
Spiritual Perspective to solve problems
Now from the Vedic Perspective because today’s topic is Vedic Solutions to Climate Change, According to many scientist and geologist because of all the toxic waste and all of the pollution and all of the greenhouse effect and gases and synthetic chemicals in the ozone and everywhere else, because the earth is so polluted and because from the spiritual perspective the karma is so polluted worldwide. There’s going to be reactions. Now the Vedic solution always goes to the essential cause and what is the essential cause of everything, it is consciousness, if we deal properly with consciousness then we can substantially, realistically deal with the problems of this worlds. Otherwise we are just doing patch work. There is an infection and underline cause of all the pollution in the world is polluted consciousness.
Polluted consciousness is the cause of suffering
In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna tells… bhümiräpo ‘naloväyuùkhaàmanobuddhirevacaahaìkäraitéyaà me bhinnäprakåtirañöadhä…Krishna is explaining from the perspective of the divine that there are eight material elements: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and intelligence and the ego…apareyamitastvanyäàprakåtiàviddhi me paräm…But beyond this there is a superior energy, the jiva, the source of consciousness which is actually the very foundational, sustaining force of creation. Consciousness is the sustaining force of creation. The reason for the ecological pollution is very simple, the pollution of consciousness. Because our minds are highly polluted with toxic greed.
What is the nature of Greed? It can never be satisfied. In the Srimad Bhagavatam Prahlad Maharaj explains that if you are hungry you eat some food you are satisfied. If you are thirsty drink some liquid and you are satisfied. If you are angry, you let it out or someone chastises you and you get the reaction to it and basically your anger is subdued. But Prahlad says but greed, even if you conquer, control and the proprietor of everything within the entire universe, your greed will never t satisfied, it’s insatiable, it burns like fire, the more fuel you put in it the harder and higher it burns.
Being content and satisfied
The Vedic solution is to learn how to be content and satisfied with simple things. Due to ignorance – Avidya we are trying to find happiness in things, in stuff, but the soul is part of God… mamaiväàçojéva-lokejéva-bhütaùsanätanaù…The soul, the heart needs love. It’s the only thing that can satisfy us is to love and be loved. Even on a very worldlysense if you have everything else but if you don’t have someone to love and you are not loved by people there can be no real satisfaction. Because things cannot touch the heart. Sensual pleasures, mental pleasures do not touch the heart and satisfaction is not the thing of the mind, it’s not the thing of the flesh, it’s the thing of the heart. Our nature is to love God and in loving God we see every living being as part of God, we naturally love every living being. That brings contentment. Relationships bring satisfaction but unfortunately we become so obsessed we are trying to find that satisfaction by accumulation and experiential interactions with things that we don’t have healthy, satisfying relationships. We don’t take responsibilities for our relationships because they are not very important, pre-occupied, yes. And in these so called developed countries, materially we find massive divorce rates, massive mental depression, why? They have things. But responsibilities, family values, relationships are compromised. And therefore their hearts are empty, their bank accounts may be overflowing but their hearts are empty. Their prestige and their fame may be sky rocketing without meaningful, deep loving relationships there is nothing there inside the heart and to fill that emptiness we become greedy, we become lusty and when it is not fulfill we become angry and if we get what we want, we become arrogant and if we don’t get what we want we become envious and depressed. These are all just symptoms of a very sick, empty state of consciousness and yet in today’s world the people who are the sickest, who are the most macho into stepping on people’s heads to get a head they are considered great hero’s.
Simple living Highthinking
But the Vedic solution is something very different to find substantial satisfaction within that is called by our Gurudev- Prabhupad’s terminology ‘simple living and high thinking.’We don’t need unnecessary necessities. Whether you are living in a beautiful palace or whether you are living in a straw hut or whether you are living in a cave, if you are satisfied within you will be happy but if you are not satisfied within you are really going to get bored in that cave, you are really going to be depressed about the straw hut and as far as the palace you are going to be in complete anxiety about everybody else who wants the palace and all the things that are going wrong in your palace and all the problems with the mortgage for the palace and everything going on inside, there can be no satisfaction.
Story of Vamana Dev asking three steps of land from Bali Maharaj
When little Vamana Dev approached Bali Maharaj, He was penny less little brahmana dwarf and he asked Bali, give Me three steps of land and Bali said do you know who I am? Actually I am putting the words like that, he didn’t say exactly like that, he was speaking in Sanskrit, I am putting it in common English language. I am the king, why three steps of land? I will give you houses, I will give you property, I will you a planet, I will give you everything you want, I have it. Essentially Vamana Dev said what do you have?Said I have nothing but I have peace of mind I am happy, you have everything but because you don’t have peace of mind you are miserable and Bali Maharaj couldn’t argue with that one. If you are not happy within yourself, you cannot be happy no matter what you get, no matter what you achieve and if you are happy within yourself you are happy no matter what you get or what you achieve. If you can’t be satisfied with little, you can’t be satisfied with a lot that is an eternal principle.
So Bhagavad Gita is not teaching poverty but at the same time it is teaching poverty. Poverty in a different way, we see Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, so many scriptures. many of the great saints we read about are kings and queens, they have royal wealth but they are self-realized, they are perfect yogis because they don’t consider their wealth to be their own, they consider everything to be the property of God and they care for it and utilize it not only for their own well-being but for their families and for the world’s well-being. They are not greedy, they are generous, they are kind, they are compassionate. So we find kings and we find sadhu’s who just sleep on banks of rivers, they both have the same wealth within.
Queen Kunti prays that one can feelingly chant God’s name and access his mercy when…AkincanaGocara….when one understands nothing is mine, everything belongs to God…bhoktäraàyajïa-tapasäàsarva-loka-maheçvaramsuhådaàsarva-bhütänäàjïätvämäàçäntimåcchati…Krishna says in Gita, if you want to be peaceful its very simple, the peace formula of the fifth chapter of Bhagavad Gita just to accept that God, Krishna is the proprietor of everything is the controller of everything and everything is ultimately for his satisfaction. Whether we are a king, whether we are an industrialist or a doctor or a teacher or an author or a student or a housewife or a farmer or a sadhu if you understand this principle you could be peaceful in very single situation that comes upon you. But if you don’t understand this principle and you want to be the proprietor, you want to be the controller and you want to be the enjoyer, it’s not possible to be peaceful not for any duration because it’s an unnatural situation, it’s not real solution.
Analogy – Fish out of water
If you take fish out of the sea and throw him in the sand that fish you can give him most beautiful female fish to flap on the sand right next to each other and they will be flapping into each other, you can give that fish the best possible food, his favorite food whatever it may be you can give that fish a diamond necklace from one of the best stores just down the street in Mumbai. Infact there is a place that sales Mercedes-Benz you can give him a Mercedes, what is that food that they sale at chowpatty beach? you could ran across the sand and get him a whole plate of bhelpuri’s and he will eat the bhelpuri and seeking now i am so happy, but he is not happy it’s not real happiness until he goes back into the sea thatis his nature.
How farter humanity goes away from essence?
So unless our consciousness returns to its original nature we will not be satisfied and farther humanity goes away from the essence of who they are? Who we are? The more we become entangled and we use this magnificent, incredible created brain that God has given human’s to realize the highest essence and to create a civilization in the harmony with that essence we start creating things even in the name of God, sometime in the name of bad. We created some really good bombs, yes. Atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, nuclear bombs and they just keep getting better and better and they are so many bombs in this world today and so many countries. If America alone were just to release all their nuclear bombs, what to speak of Russia, China and Pakistan and India everybody started releasing their bombs. Mumbai would go back to being Bombay, wouldn’t matter who, which political party is. So the human intellect that takes to make those things it’s unbelievable.
From the Vedic perspective, yoga means union, yoga means harmony, the harmony between humans, between other species of life, between nature and between God that is yoga. Asanas, Pranayama,Dharana, Yana, Samadhi, all of these different stages of yoga they are all ultimately meant to bring our consciousness in harmony with nature, with other living beings and with God.
Protect mother earth: environmentalism from the Vedic perspective
The earth is declared in the scriptures to be one of our seven mothers because like our mother when we are infants in the womb and when we just come out of the womb we are totally dependent on our mother, her compassion, her kindness is our survival, yes. The embryo in the womb if the mother wants to kill it, what is the – embryo can’t fight back; totally dependent on the mercy of the mother and when it comes out totally dependent again, well that’s the way everyone is toward mother earth. She is supplying the water, she is supplying the fruits and the vegetables and the food grains, she is providing the air we breathe and that the earth is an expansion of the feminine potency of God. Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita…ahaàbéja-pradaùpitä…that he is the seed giving father of all the living beings, but who’s the mother? He is also the mother or she is also the mother and very much through mother earth. Our bodies are made of the elements of the earth, are they not? Earth, water, fire, air, ether. The water comes from the earth; the ether comes from the earth, the fire, the earth. Our bodies are made out of mother earth. Just like our bodies are made from our mother biologically and according to vedic principle there is a deity, there is a presiding personality in the earth, infact she is the consort, the eternal consort of Varaha Dev, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just as Varaha is an expansion of Krishna, Bhumi is expansion of Radha an expansion of Lakshmi an expansion of Sita. Sita is Rama’s consort. Now Hanuman he was intelligent, he understood everyone’s welfare including his own is for Sita and Rama to be united. But Ravana his mentality, he was greedy, he was lustful, he was selfish and arrogant and his conception I want to enjoy Sita for myself. And he was thinking he would be happy by doing it, even though so many people warned him against it his own wife Mandodari said sent Sita back, I will do everything and anything that you want, I am your wife what’s wrong with me, send Sita back. Vibhishan, you will be destroyed she is Rama’s consort; you cannot take what belongs to Rama. Even Kumbhakarna warned his brother I will fight for you but if you want my advice better give Sita back to Rama. And Hanuman came and said if you want to taste what Rama is going to do I am just his menial, humble, insignificant servant and watch what I do and he burned the whole city. So what was Ravana’s illusion? He wanted to exploit God’s consort for himself and Hanuman wanted to serve God’s consort in harmony with the will of Rama. Now in Ramayana you know Sita came out of the earth and at the end of her lila she went into the earth, that’s not an accident because she is non-different than mother earth. The earth is Sita, is Bhumi an expansion. The Vedic solution is we understand the reality as it is, the natural resources are sacred they God’s energy and how we respect and utilize them is what’s going to determine the faith of the world. There was an Indian chief not East Indian but American Indian, his name was chief Seattle, Seattle Washington was named after him actually, Seattle. And there is a famous statement some say he said it, some say that other people said it but whoever said it, it was a good thing to say essentially he saw when the Europeans came to the West, America the Indians, American Indians they were much more Vedic in the sense that they really honored mother earth, they considered the earth and all the gifts of the earth to be sacred and if you take something you have to take it carefully with respect and honored and you have to replenish it, you can’t just take it without replenishinting with something in a very good way. If you cut a tree you have to plant another tree, if you grow a crop you have to do in a such a way that you are not plundering the earth but you are nourishing and restoring the mother earth it’s a natural science and when the American Indian saw the Europeans coming they were just cutting and leaving things in waste, Planting and reaping what to speak about stealing all the land from them themselves and putting them in the prison camps, reservations. And he wrote something he said mother earth it’s like your bed if you contaminate your bed you’re going to have sleep in it, its reality. All the gifts that God has given us are sacred, every breathe is the gift of mother earth without it we all die, every drop of water, every pinch of soil and what a miraculous mother, the earth. You go to Himalayas and you see some yogi produce some ashes and you think oh…! How wonderful? But everyday mother earth from some little seed a tree grows and hundreds and hundreds of fruits and flowers. We can’t even eat ashes, we see fruit trees, we see flower trees every time we eat, just from the seed in the ground just mix water, mix seed, mix earth and rice, chapatti flour with a little mixing of little together gulab-jambun, halwa so many natural gifts, it’s a miracle everywhere. Vegetables, fruits and each one is so different and so amazing there are grapes and there are mangoes and there is papaya’s and there are chikoos, there are cashew’s can’t we recognize the sanctity of earth as our mother? So environmentalism from the Vedic perspective is a divine service to God it goes way beyond just building a better future for humanity, it’s an inseparable part of Dharma is to love, honor and respect our mother and from that perspective everyone’s mother. And this mother if you are married your grandchildren, your great grandchildren, your great great grandchildren, you great greatgreatgreatgreatgrandchildren, the same mother is going to be required to provide for them it’s very personnel and it’s our Dharmic responsibility. If we just have that type of consciousness. We could be happy with the simple things that God provides if we just learn the art of using them in harmony with the will of God.
Change our consciousness from little Ravana’s too little Hanuman’s
Now some people may think that this philosophy will make people very lazy and week, yes unless you are like Ravana, unless you are really selfish, unless you are really egoistic, you are not really motivated to do things that illusion is totally dispelled by Hanuman. Who is more dynamic? Who is more hard working, then Hanuman? He could lift mountains, he could go bridges of rocks across ocean, he could jump across the ocean, he can burn cities, he can fight rakshashas. Hanuman was not a lazy bhakta, people say you follow bhakti what are you going to do for the world, lazy you just sit in some ashram and chant, what are you doing, just like our Param Guru BhaktiSiddhantaSaraswati Thakur, during world war-2 there was song and after, so many devotes were coming and they were fighting a war against maya out of compassion for all living being. Lord Chaitanya taught us a battle against maya its totally non-violent but it is war against ignorance, illusion and suffering through enlightenment, knowledge and grace but one of the big big Indian generals came to Bhakti SiddhantaSaraswati and he is saying you are recruiting all these good men that we can use them in the army to fight against the British and you are making them Sadhu’s. we need them, they are lazy here in the ashram we need them to fight for freedom and Bhakti SiddhantaSaraswati said, he said they are very skinny and week, they can’t help your army very much, let them eat some Prasad and do something for. But actually they were doing so good you know Mahatma Gandhi was not physically powerful soldier but he did more than other soldiers because he had character and integrity. So Hanuman taught us how to live in harmony with the will of Sita. Hanuman taught us how to dedicate our lives to honoring, respecting and protecting Sita. We have Sita sitting right there at, Sita Devi Dasi. In harmony with the will of Rama. This is the Vedic solution to climate change, to change our consciousness, to change it from little Ravana’s too little Hanuman’s. Protecting the earth from exploiting the earth for our own purposes to protecting and honoring the earth for God’s purposes.
Clean the heart to clean the environment
And actually there is no other permanent solution all other solutions whether they come out of the United Nations or any other environmentalist organization they may be good, they may be necessary, they may be vital and many of these organizations we bow to them for their good efforts but we must understand unless there is a change in consciousness it’s not sustainable, without the change of consciousness even environmentalism is unsustainable sustainability, does that make sense? I once meet with some years ago the minister for the environment for India and we had a good discussion and I was explaining to her, she challenged what are you sadhu’s doing for the environment, the rivers are polluted, the land is polluted, the air is polluted so much poison, so much toxic waste, so much dangers, ozone, green house all these things are happening and you are just doing your mantra’s. So these mantra’s clean the heart the reason for all this ecological pollution is because of the pollution in the heart and even if by making laws and reforms and educating the public very nicely about the importance of cleaning up the environment if you clean every river, every ocean, every bit of land and clear the air in the sky it’s guaranteed if we don’t clean the pollution of toxic greed in people’s heart they are going to pollute everything all over again, hundred percent. So we have to harmoniously work side by side, we have to do these things, but we also have to educate people how to find satisfaction and fulfillment in the simple divine gifts that God has given us. Lord Chaitanya he wrote eight verses- Çikñäñöakam it begins…ceto-darpaëa-märjanaàbhava-mahä-dävägni-nirväpaëaà…ceto-darpaëa-märjanaà means that the mind is like a mirror that is covered with dirt, to the degree the mind is covered with dirt it’s going to impel us to speak and to act in karmic ways that pour the dirt all over the world in so many ways and factually disasters are very much reactions of collective karma.
Natural calamities as unhealed wounds of Mother Earth
Mother earth has a body and is very much like our body, mother earth like our body when there is some problem she heals herself; yes you have a cut it heals itself. A good doctor doesn’t heal it for you, a good doctor depend on the body to heal itself you can have certain types of surgeries where the doctors become you know they do a lot of manipulations of things but if the body doesn’t help and heal itself through that process the person is going to die, yes. So mother earth she heals herself but like our body if the body is exploited and exploited and exploited and filled with more and more and more toxics it has never given the time to replenish it itself then it can’t heal itself, turns into serious diseases and similarly mother earth same thing. But when she gets diseased the reactions are severe, there could be Tsunami, there could be earth quakes. It is connected with Karma. It is not just some ideological theory, it is the greatest necessity for humanity today and for all times to clean the ecology of our consciousness and the simplest and most powerful cleansing agent to remove the pollution of our minds and of our hearts and restore the love, the compassion and the inner satisfaction that we are all longing for is the chanting of the Gods Holy Name…Hare Krishna Hare Krishna KrishnaKrishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama RamaRama Hare Hare. If you chant sincerely God appears before you.
Would you like to speak anything Gaurangaprabhu? Thank you very much Maharaj for your nice presentation.
Radhanath Swami: Just keep pondering this mystery and you will become perfect, Bhumi is an expansion of Sita…Haribol.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Hare Krishna Maharaj, just want to share one small incident, when we sit to have Prasad at our home my mother does a small thing she offers whatever she has in her plate to mother earth and I always use to ask what are you doing and my mother always use to say that I am just offering for I have the Prasad I offer it to mother earth and I never use to understand the procedure why she is doing but today by your lecture I could understand that. Thank you very much Maharaj.
Radhanath Swami: Please request your mother to bless me. Motherly blessings are very powerful.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Hare Krishna Maharaj, thank you very much for the wonderful discourse. Maharaj I just wanted to ask that you mentioned that you know we should understand that everything is Krishna’s property so many times I have fit in my mobile as well, I keep reminder and to certain people also I keep in mind that, that person is Krishna’s devotee but then you know at times it happens that we are not able to have that strong realization. so how should we go about it that twenty four by seven we should remember that every single thing is actually Krishna’s property?
Radhanath Swami: How to remember that?
Question repeats: How to have that strong realization?
Radhanath Swami: Many ways, by associating with people who help you remember it, by doing things that help you remember it, by reading Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita that will help you remember it, by hearing classes, by associating with people who are trying to live by those principles, by our prayers, by our chanting and by consciously trying to offer our work in the service of Krishna, God. The whole path, process of science of Bhakti is to help us to be aware of that truth as you said twenty four by seven. But because for so long we have chronically have been habituated to forgetting that it takes time to bring our consciousness back to its natural state, always remember God with love. Yes.
Question to Radhanath Swami: Hare Krishna Maharaj, Thank you very much for the very wonderful perspective that you gave on this problem, Maharaj as you said that the ecology of our heart that is polluted, so when we come to the process of Krishna Consciousness so we understand that this pollution is there within the heart and we get the process of chanting the holy names and we move ahead on the path of our life. We have come from the background of this materialistic education and then the option is that we have is to enter to get a job which is in some multinational company which is all about propagating all this pollution of the environment and the consciousness and we find that even if we want we don’t have options for us to work in the filled by which we can also simultaneously which is in alignment with this process of cleaning the consciousness or it’s a passionate work that basically we are doing so what we can do regarding that?
Answer by Radhanath Swami: Well, personally I became a swami. But I don’t recommend that. What is important is we develop a foundation in our life of good character, spiritual values and integrity and once we have that foundation then we should use our intelligence to do the very best we can according to our circumstance to live in harmony with our own soul and with God and with nature. In Kali-yuga especially people are put in situations which are very contradictory to many spiritual ideals in which case if we are sincere we try to make what Prabhupad said the best use of a bad bargain and that takes sincerity and intelligence and even if we are in situations where externally were implicated in a profession that may be harmful to the environment, if we were sincerely work on purifying our own internal environment and we also live by more principles of integrity then what happens because of that sincerity Krishna empowers us within realizations intelligence and sometimes alternatives. what it really comes down to is if we want to live spiritual integrity we have to stop blaming others we have to be an example of what’s right, it’s scape goat which perpetually keeps things in a very sad condition when we blame the Government, when we blame the society, we blame so many things and so many people, we blame the country but then we do the same things, we do the same things that we are blaming everybody else for and we say it’s not my fault because everyone else does it, it’s not my fault because the government can’t stop it. You and me are 100% are fully responsible for the care of the earth. Whoever we are a man or woman, old or young, IIT’s, Student or Swami. We all are responsible the choices we make how we respond to situations the integrity in which we live our lives that is our part of changing the world. Human life is quite unsubstantial and meaningless unless individual humans live by sacred ideals no matter what else everyone else is doing, no matter how easy or hard it may be and that’s what changes things. If we look at history the most major changes that affected the nations, that affected the world it started usually with just one or two people who had an ideal that seemed against all odds and impossible, yes. Either for the good or for the bad from the bad Hitler, he had hatred and on the base of that hatred he wrote books about his ideals and at the beginning nobody listen to him he started to preach them and he got put into the jail, yes. But eventually he just remained determined and fixed in those ideals and certain social, environmental political things changed and all of a sudden2 people, 3 people, 4 people, 5 people, 500 people, 5000 people, 5million, 10million people accepted, he started conquering nations, he was trying conquer the world. He was just one man with an idea later became a few people, few more people and look what he did to the world, world war-2 massive death and here in India, Gandhi at August Kranti he made his announcement, it began with a few people underground, hiding in some houses just talking about how we should get out of the British. Seemed absolutely impossible but they talked about it, there were less people involved then in this room, yes. They were just a few people. Not long ago I was at Birla house and there is a living room where he use to sit and meet, Gandhiji use to sit and meet with people, there were only about 10-20people he would meet with. It didn’t go beyond them animpossible thing but because they lived by their ideal he was also put in jail as were most of his followers, but because they live their idealslook at the change they created in the world. Not only in India, the civil rights movement in America, Martin Luther King, the blacks were slaves for over a century in America. Slaves, bought and sold with no rights they were owned by the people there was a war to ban slavery but it hardly changed the mentality they were still treated that way even though it was unofficial they werenot boughtand sold. They were just forced to live in a ghetto and die in a ghetto with no rights hardly. Martin Luther king, he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and he started the same little thing non-violence demonstrations he was put in jail and the result there is an African-American president at the United States. Just one generation after Martin Luther King where an African-American person couldn’t sit on the same bus or quoted the same college in many states of America as a white man or a woman little things become big.Thomas Edison, he had this idea I am going to create light, yes by just using God’s energy he had had religious principles God’s energy is miraculous, let me use God’s energy in certain way. Benjamin Franklin, he wanted to channel God’s energy to create electricity nobody was thinking in those terms but now everyone in the world you see light bulbs, yes everywhere in the world you see electricity major change from lanterns but it’s just one or two people who just had an idea and their idea changed the world because they live by it they were living to die for it. Our own Gurudev Srila Prabhupad, 70year old man on the Jalduta boat, he had two heart attacks in the boat came into New York lived in a bowery, a ghetto. had no money, had no contacts,had absolutely no support from anyone in India because they all thought it’s impossible that what you are doing, even his own God brothers, even his well-wishers they said it’s impossible just come back, he had no support anywhere. But he lived by his ideal and that’s why we are all here today from that little ideal a man with a little box of Indian printed books which is all he had, he had that, an umbrella, a little bag of cereal and a change of clothes that was it but because he lived by his ideal.Hundreds & millions of Vedic translations of Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Isopanisad, Nectar of Devotion.The largest volume of Vedic literatures in history of the world. Hundreds and millions had been published and distributed and hundreds and hundreds of temples and millions of devotees and his mission is to getting started just one man he just had an ideal and lived by it. So let’s stop blaming other people and it using that as an excuse to just remain complacent. A fulfilling life is a life where we live by sacred ideals and anyone of us can make a major change in the world and when we are collectively sharing those ideals super extra potency of God comes into that collective unity and purity. This is the greatness of India is it such a deep all inclusive profound scientific understanding of God of the soul and our relationship with nature and each other beyond all distinctions. Is that answer to your question?
Question by Radhanath Swami: Hare Krishna Maharaj, What can we do individually and collectively to internally and externally clean and serve mother earth and what can we do actually our little’s brief insight our perspectives, what can we do actually to do individually and collectively??
Radhanath Swami: If we have a desire then so many ideas will emerge just like our little temple here have a desire because we see that’s very important to create alternative examples for people to see. So recently we started a farm project in Wada. It’s called Govardhan farm, yes. And some people may think we have 50acres of land we are growing rice, flowers, vegetables, we have about 654 trees now and we instead of tractors we use oxen and we have about nice 30 – 40 cows and our own bulls and we are showing protection of cows, compassionate protection of cows because cow is one of the mothers also, she gives milk and the bull is like a father, just by tilling the fields he is giving grains and is very sustainable by using unnecessary chemicals is very holistic, natural, replenishing by taken from the earth we are replenishing the earth, it’s an exchange of love and we are developing a retreat center and we are trying to develop positive, natural energy sources and if we are content internally this is opulence, it’s beautiful. A person who is content chanting God’s names and serving others and living in a simple situation like that is probably going to be millions of times more internally happy and fulfilled then people who are going to high tech discos in Mumbai. And the idea of this Govardhan Dham is to show people that it’s a beautiful life. Now we may think what’s a little 50 acre farm going to do to change the world, but we have to do our part if we have the means to make a one million acre farm we would be happy to do that. But we have the means for this and like we were explaining all great changes through-out history that have taken place in the world they all began with very small with people who are committed to an ideal. So what comes out of it that’s in God’s hand but we are doing what we believe is right. And we are trying to be instruments of compassion and show alternatives to the world, because there may be a time when the natural ways in the only way left, the way we are accelerating and burning out the resources. Oil is limited, the world is very much based on an oil economy it’s reaching its peek again it has to be dig deeper and deeper and deeper to get it and it is going to cause more and more and more money to get down there and it is getting lessen, lessen, less and we are creating a culture where we desperately need more and more and more and more. There are finite resources and we have infinite demands.Its not going to work, it has no future, there has to be alternatives otherwise it going to such a collapse it is going to be drastic unless there is alternatives. We could use things nicely but we should actually think in terms of world and future. There is shreyaas and prayaas, prayaas means we do what we need now without consideration of the future, shreyaas means our decision now are holistic, thinking in terms of the future. A child likes to play, parents say go to school, the child says I don’t like school I like to play but parent say no you have to discipline yourself and go to school. If the parent doesn’t discipline the child the child will have no education and suffers the rest of his or her life. So we don’t go to school because we like it today, we go to school because we are trying to pay even if we hate it. In my case I was like that. Well we do it so we have a future. So as a society also we have to think in those terms, as a society also it’s not just about how to make profits and become rich and create facilities now through very high level of consumerism. We are not for or against that but what we are for is we have to look into how, what we are doing now is affecting the future of humanity in the future of this world and we have to start making adjustments so that we do have a good future and every one of us is responsible according to our means to do that. So this farm is we are hoping and praying that it could be a nice model to show people it’s not that we accept everyone to move to farm and take care of cows and plough with oxen’s, but if we can people even in the city to understand the beauty of simplicity and to find pleasure and meaning in simple things in our relationships and with God and I think I said this in another class but not long ago I went to a very wealthy persons house in America, a mother works, father works and to keep the children busy there is a basement with every possible thing to play with you can imagine there is hundreds and hundreds of game and ping pong machines and ping pong tables and billiard tables and all kinds of computer games and a little movie theatre where a child could just press buttons and play any movie or cartoons or anything he wants there were probably tens and thousands of dollars worth of toys, games and entertainment system for two children and to keep the children busy while the parents were working. And I will tell you those children didn’t look happy at all do you know why they need tens and thousands of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of these toys and games because the children are not satisfied with anyone of them they play with one for a while and then they need a new one and a new one and a new one and a new one and a new one and the I went to one little farm not even a farm there was a place where in India where one of my dear friends I saw his daughter was just sitting in some grass playing with a mango seed. The parents ate the mango and gave the child the seed, actually the child ate the mango and then was playing with the mango seed and was completely happy I can tell you one hundred percent with certainty that this girl was happier with one mango seed then these other children with tens and thousands of dollars of every type of low tech and high tech entertainment games. And she was developing creativity what she was doing with that mango seed it was very artistic, she was developing her internal creative talents by just figuring out ways to play with that mango seed whereas these other games they were just doing what they are telling you to do . Simplicity, we don’t need a lot of things we can be content with small things if we have that creative spirit and contentment within. I don’t even remember who ask that question and what it was but I did say what I wanted to say.
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